Campari-Fennel Aperitif


Pleasantly bitter, herb-infused Campari is a bracing aperitif, especially when it's blended with a little sparkling wine as it is here. Neal Bodenheimer, the owner of Cure in New Orleans, loves how the vivid-red Italian spirit tastes with fennel. "This is a perfect way to use up any leftover fennel fronds from the kitchen," he says. Cocktail Tips from F&W Editors Classic Cocktails

Total Time:
15 mins
1 drink
Campari-Fennel Aperitif
© Paul Costello


  • Handful of fennel fronds, plus 1 small sprig for garnish

  • 3 lemon wheels

  • 2 ounces dry sparkling wine

  • 3/4 ounce Campari

  • 1/2 ounce simple syrup (see Note)

  • One 2-inch-long strip of lemon peel

  • Ice


  1. In a cocktail shaker, combine the fennel fronds with the lemon wheels, sparkling wine, Campari and simple syrup. Muddle 20 times. Add ice and shake well. Strain into an ice-filled rocks glass. Squeeze the lemon peel over the drink and add it to the glass. Garnish with the fennel sprig and serve.


To make simple syrup, simmer 1/2 cup water with 1/2 cup sugar in a small saucepan over moderate heat, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Let the syrup cool. The simple syrup can be refrigerated for up to 1 month.

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